Saturday, April 18, 2009

Springtime (at last)

I'm not sure how I feel about starting a new season in Philadelphia. Warmer days are sort of clashing with my whole Groundhog Day mindset. Nonetheless, we've finally had a few days of spring-like weather to enjoy here, and I might grow to enjoy springtime up here.

Over the past few weeks, we've had a child-life intern working on our floor. He will be greatly missed. Yesterday was his last day, and four of the patients (pretty much everyone that felt up to a field trip) got to go outside for a small farewell party.

I promised several people that I'd share pictures of the "big outing".

I couldn't help but post a picture of just some of the crowd and our assorted equipment. There were four patients, four parents, three portable monitors (note that portable does not necessarily mean easy to carry), two IV poles, a wagon, a tricycle, two nurses, three people from child-life, an oxygen tank just in case, bubble mix, a kite, and two cans of silly string.

It was absolutely gorgeous outside, even if it was a bit sunny for the little ones who hadn't been out in quite a while.

While we were outside, Meredith, one of our child life specialists, decided it was a perfect day for ice cream. Since Lauren hasn't ever had any milk products before, I decided that it wouldn't be the smartest of ideas to let her have a sundae. Instead, I told her to just bring a cup of water from McDonalds. She looked at me doubtfully, but it worked. Lauren was absolutely thrilled with her cup of water, even if she can't drink out of a straw yet. When we got back inside I even had to pour the "McDonalds water" into her sippy cup so that she could carry it around with her the rest of the day and try to sip it.

We were doubly blessed with another gorgeous day today. After Lauren's nap, we were sitting in the playroom, and she asked me if today was a "going-outside" day. Meredith overheard her asking and decided to see if it would be okay to do a repeat performance again this afternoon. (The doctors have to approve her going off the floor, there has to be enough nursing staff, etc, etc.) We took less people this afternoon, and it was wonderful to watch Lauren just relaxing in the sunshine.

I think I could get used to these sorts of days.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Three month mile marker

Once again, I can't manage to combine a slideshow and comments in the same post. Instead of continuing to struggle with it, I'll just leave it be as two posts.

In no particular order, I've chosen some of my favorite pictures taken while Lauren's been in Philadelphia so far.

PS -- Tim, I'll get you a band-aid picture on the next "poke day". Katherine, you can tell Nelson that the rainbow picture was taken out of Lauren's room. We'll post more pictures of her room for him soon.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Count your blessings...

It's been kind of a rough week in Philadelphia. Tomorrow is Hospital Day #91, a full three months since we got here. I think the wait is starting to get to all of us -- Lauren has started screaming at the sight of anyone in surgical garb (mask, hat, blue scrubs). I have three knitting/crochet projects in progress and at least a couple books, but I'm pretty much bored with them.

Medically, there are a few little things that are popping up here and there. She's actually been hooked up to EEG wires (20 something of them glued to her head) since last Thursday in an attempt to figure out why she was falling so often. Of course, she hasn't done it at all since then. Overall, she's stable, and we're grateful that she's still doing so well while we wait.

Instead of focusing on all the little things around here that are starting to get on my nerves, I've decided to "count my blessings" and I'll share a few tonight.

1. Internet: We have wireless internet throughout the hospital. That means that I can at least keep somewhat in touch with everybody. Tim jokes that I get all my news via Facebook. That's not entirely true -- sometimes I open the free Metro newspaper that I pick up in the mornings. Wireless internet also means that I can watch movies and TV shows after Lauren goes to bed.

2. Child Life: I'm really not sure how well we'd be doing if we didn't have the Child Life specialists to help plan activities, provide toys, hold our hands during procedures, advocate on Lauren's behalf, and so much more. Last Friday night, one of them kicked me out of the playroom and stayed late playing with Lauren so that I could eat dinner with Tim.

3. One of the top hospitals: As much as I do worry about Lauren's condition, I know that she's getting the absolute best possible care. Every night I fall asleep knowing that someone will watch over her while we sleep. (Even better, they are so incredibly quiet through the night that I don't even notice their comings and goings.)

4. Awesome grandparents: Addison and Brennan are doing quite well, and we're very thankful for the help of Oma and Col. Opa, and Nana and Papa. Both Nana and Oma tell me how much the kids are learning in school, how helpful they are being, and how much they're eating.

5. An outpouring of support from all over: It is such a comfort to know that there are people all over the world praying for Lauren, and we truly feel loved. We've received all sorts of care packages to make our stay easier. I could go on and on, but I'll just share one small story from this week. The other day, Lauren was coloring with markers in the playroom. I later realized that we had coloring pencils, watercolors, crayons, and coloring books, but no markers. I figured that I could pick some up the next time I went out. The next night, I was trying my hardest to keep Lauren on a mat in our room so that she wouldn't get hurt if she fell. We opened a package that contained not only markers, but also glitter stickers and jewels that provided enough entertainment to last for more than just that evening that I was trying to fill.

There are so many other blessing I could list. Things like a night with no line at the washing machine, a good BLT sandwich from the street vendor, the one time last week that the cafeteria got Lauren's meal order correct, the joy on another mom's face when I found some Diet Dr. Pepper to share, good chocolate candy, bunny ears on top of the EEG wrappings, glitter art projects hanging on the walls, Rock Band photos, a jar of white chocolate peanut butter, and so much more.

I've gotten a bit bored of just taking photos of Lauren each day. Maybe I should expand my horizon and take pictures of the little things that I'm grateful for each day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Please, Daddy?

Look what I'm learning to do in the playroom these days. I think I'm going to need one of my own. Please?!?


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